Real shock for December’s payrolls report with a 74k read for December, well below all economist estimates. While November saw a revision higher to 241k the fact that jobs growth was so weak is a big surprise. The unemployment rate came in at 6.7% but that hides the fact that the labour participation rate has dropped to 62.8 to a 30 year low from 63 in November, so is it really an accurate number of the US economy. I would suggest not as more people become discouraged from looking for a position. We heard this morning that 2013 would show the best jobs growth since 2005, however these numbers undermine that, unless we get an upward revision to the December number next month. It also begs the question as to how effective QE has been. Let’s look at jobs growth. Total jobs added to the US economy in 2012 was 2,193mTotal jobs added to the US economy in 2013 without a Dec revision is currently 2,186m So the sum total $85bn of monthly stimulus - a total $1trn of stimulus in 2013, has been lower jobs growth! It really does beg the question as to whether QE is actually doing anything other than boosting asset prices. This number probably doesn’t change the direction of travel too much with respect to tapering but it certainly slows it down. What this does mean is that we probably won’t see any further tapering until March. CMC Markets is an execution only provider. The material (whether or not it states any opinions) is for general information purposes only, and does not take into account your personal circumstances or objectives. Nothing in this material is (or should be considered to be) financial, investment or other advice on which reliance should be placed. No opinion given in the material constitutes a recommendation by CMC Markets or the author that any particular investment, security, transaction or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person.